‘A good possibility’ rat in soup video is authentic, says forensic video expert
A video forensic expert says there’s a good chance the viral video of a rat turning up in a bowl of soup in Vancouver is authentic.
David McKay is a former RCMP video analyst and an expert in forensic examination technology.
Global News and McKay reviewed the four-second video that allegedly shows a customer at the Crab Park Chowdery finding the rodent in their Manhattan chowder on Thursday.
McKay says when assessing the authenticity of videos, experts look at the question from two directions — whether the footage has been altered, or whether the video has been staged.
He said there’s no sign that the video has been altered in any way, but because of its short length, it’s more difficult to speak to whether it has been staged.
WATCH: Health inspectors investigate video allegedly showing rat found in soup
“The biggest question I have is what happened before or what happened after, because the video is just a small portion of the bigger picture,” McKay said.
“I guess the question I would have is how did the rat get in the soup, because I can see a rat in the video and I don’t know how it got there.”
However, McKay added that there are clues in the video that point to it being authentic.
“It appears as though in the torso area that the skin or the fur has been sloughed off, so that could kind of give us a clue that perhaps it’s been exposed to high heat, versus something that’s been planted that would look more like an intact rat,” he said.
“What the video tells me is that it’s probably the simplest explanation — that there’s a good possibility that somehow the rat ended up in the soup.”
We may never know the full story about the circumstances surrounding the now-viral video.
WATCH: Diner allegedly finds rat in soup at Vancouver restaurant
Crab Park Chowdery owner Donald Phillips said he never saw the rodent himself, as a staff member had already thrown it out. He said he was shocked by the incident and had no idea how a rat could have gotten into a pot of soup.
Vancouver Coastal Health investigated after a complaint was lodged and shut down the off-site commercial kitchen where the Chowdery’s soup was being made, after it discovered signs of a rodent infestation.
However, it said its mandate to investigate ended there.
The woman who filmed the video told Global News they were given a full refund and a $100 gift card.
McKay said that last factor also has him leaning towards the possibility the video is legitimate.
“If the effect someone was looking for was a free meal or a gift card, it would be a lot easier to stage something with a band-aid or a toenail or even a small mouse rather than a ginormous rat,” he said.
— With files from Kristen Robinson
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